Business Lessons From Theo Paphitis and Other Mega-Entrepreneurs

“Learn as much as you can from those who know more than you do, who do better than you, who see more clearly than you”

— Dwight Eisenhower —

Business Lessons From Theo Paphitis

I came across this great quote by Theo Paphitis on Linkedin yesterday morning, and it really caught my attention.

“In business, it is important to do something that you are passionate about. For me, that is retail, I am very lucky to wake up everyday and do something I love!” – Theo Paphitis


Who Is Theo Paphitis?

Theo Paphitis is a Cypriot-born British retail magnate and entrepreneur who is best known to the general public for his appearances on the BBC business programme Dragons’ Den.

I got to know about him 6 or 7 years ago from watching Dragon’s Den and instantly took notice of his very strong business acumen, the way he spoke with great poise, the way he carried himself in a natural self-confident manner and his style of dressing.

And, I just made the assumption that he must have a great deal of experience and knowledge of style or maybe he was in the fashion industry [an industry I was already operating in as a fashion retailer at that time].

I wanted to know more about this wealthy gentleman with style, so I googled him. And, I wasn’t surprised when I found out that he was a retail guru who had discovered his passion for retailing and sales at the age of 18 while he worked as a sales assistant for the British retailer of Swiss watches, Watches of Switzerland.

From that moment onwards, I regarded him as my mentor.

After seeing his Linkedin post yesterday morning, I decided to share a few business lessons I’ve learned from this astute businessman over the years and also to share with you guys some entrepreneurship quotes that had inspired me to build my own businesses around my passion which is “Fashion, Image & Style”.

Business Lessons From Theo Paphitis


My Top 5 Business Lessons From Theo Paphitis

“There are three reasons to be in business. To make money, to have fun – and to make money.” – Theo Paphitis


1. FIND YOUR PASSION [something you are good at]

  • Find out what you are good at. Why would you go and do something you are average at? You are going to deliver average output.
  • You are in this world for an incredibly short period of time, so don’t waste it waiting to die. Find something you are good at because that’s going to give you an advantage over the others.


  • Don’t go and do a job or something you hate or you do not enjoy for the money. That’s miserable, that’s not success, no matter where you reach in that ladder.
  • Success is finding the things that you are passionate about and enjoying what you do. Those are the things that are going to make you exceptional.


  • There’s not much difference between a fantasist and a visionary. We all have dreams and without dreams in business, I don’t believe you can be successful.
  • The trick is to turn those dreams into reality. If you don’t attempt it, will never work.
  • You have to have passion for that dream. It’s got to be something you’re going to enjoy, or it’s highly unlikely that you’ll achieve your goal.
  • You have to really believe in it and be determined to make it work.

4. KNOW THAT CASH IS KING. Don’t be without cash.

  • You can live without profit for a certain period of time but not without cash. It’s very basic and simple advice.
  • No cash means you can’t pay rent or your wages, and then it’s all over.
  • A lack of profit is like cancer. If it carries on for a long time, it will eventually kill you.
  • But a lack of cash is like a heart attack. If you can’t pay the rent, you shut down just like you would if your heart packed up.


  • Modify, Work On and Adapt other people’s idea and make them work for you. Consider if you can turn the idea into money making scheme.
  • Sometimes good ideas are not necessarily profitable.  An idea could be good but could not be translated into a money-making venture.
  • Be wary of ideas that are not profitable. Do not end up taking a project, devoting time and resources to it, and ending up with no financial reward.

Also Read: 7 Sure Steps to Personal Success


In summary, Theo Paphitis found his passion, developed that passion, and succeeded at that passion. I hope this encourages you to find your passion and only do what you are passionate about, whether it’s your job or your business.

Here are 22 Inspiring Entrepreneurship Quotes from other well-known Entrepreneurs which will help you get started. 

The main lesson that we can learn from all these entrepreneurs is to find your passion and work hard enough to make success inevitable.

 quotes on passion



  1. The secret to success: Find something you love to do so much, you can’t wait for the sun to rise to do it all over again – Chris Gardner
  1. You have to have an emotional investment in what you are doing if you don’t love what you are doing failure is pretty much guaranteed. Success is not guaranteed by any means but failure is much more likely if you don’t love what you are doing – Biz Stone, Twitter


  1. Do something you’re very passionate about, and don’t try to chase what is kind of the “hot passion” of the day. – Jeff Bezos, Amazon


  1. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t Settle! Steve Jobs – Apple

Steve Jobs

  1. If you know exactly what you want to be, you need to spend this much time with people that are actually that already. Gary Vaynerchuk – Wine Library


  1. It’s very rewarding when you work on something you think is gonna make a big difference. And yeah it is a little bit harder but I think the passion that one might bring with it brings so much more energy to that you’re more likely to succeed – Sergey Brin – Google

Also Read: 3 Essential Tips to Keep in Mind as You Climb the Ladder Of Success


  1. Do what you love and success will follow. Passion is the fuel behind any successful career – Meg Whitman


  1. When you are trying to do something different, there is going to be that gut moment, that gut sense, is this right? If you are not having doubts you are not pushing the boundaries far enough – Tony Fadell, Nest


  1. Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.


  1. Understand that, naturally, nobody will get interested in your idea. The world can care less and you have to persuade them and you have to show that you are the one person out there that can do it. Robert Greene, “The 48 Laws of Power”


  1. Don’t think about how do I get really get big fast. That will happen if you actually build something super meaningful and super important. So don’t think about what is the quickest way to success. Think about what is the best way to building something important that the world really needs. Danae Ringelmann, Indiegogo


  1. The hardest thing to do is start. We have all these ideas and everyone has an idea. But It is really about executing the idea and attracting other people to help you work on the idea that is the biggest challenge. But the way to begin is to get the idea on your head, try it out, talk about it, program it if you are a programmer or make it if you’re are building something. Jack Dorsey – Twitter, Square



  1. Follow your passion, not your paycheck. The Money will come eventually.


  1. You can be successful but…it is yet to be determined if you will do what is necessary to be successful – OG Mandino


  1. Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs – Farrah Gray


  1. If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business – it’s that simple – Richard Branson, Virgin


  1. Don’t stop believing in yourself

Also Read: Top 20 Inspirational Quotes About Success and Style


  1. Constantly seek criticism. A well thought out critic of whatever you are doing is by words go and you should seek that from everyone you can but particularly your friends. Elon Musk – Tesla, SpaceX


  1. Control your own destiny or someone else will – Jack Welch

Business Lessons

  1. Decide what you want and go after it with everything you’ve got!


  1. Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you – Mark Cuban

Business Lessons From Theo Paphitis

  1. If you don’t love you won’t make it through the long period of pain that is inevitable so make sure that you take care of yourself during the process, make sure that you take care of your mental health, your physical health while you are doing it because it is a long road. Emmett Shear – Twitch



There you have it, the business lessons from Theo Paphitis and other mega entrepreneurs. These guys had goals and really high ambitions and even in the midst of life’s challenges and setbacks they followed their passion to the ultimate end, and are living a fulfilled life.

As Theo Paphitis said – “There are three reasons to be in business. To make money, to have fun – and to make money.” 

Without the “fun” part, you will never have fulfillment in what you are doing.


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Until next time gentlemen – Continue to do well, live well and dress really well. Be Inspired!

Yours in Style,

Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
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Mr. Kobi

I am Mr. Kobi, a professional style consultant, menswear blogger & entrepreneur who uses fashion to change people’s lives. My personal goal is to help gentlemen dress better, live well, do well and develop a unique personal style that matches with their lifestyle and goals. I believe that success can be built through style. I believe that fashion is a tool that can be used to change people’s lives positively. I strongly believe that if you dress well, you look good, and if you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you worry less, and the less you worry the more you are able to stay motivated and focused in your goals pursuit and by so doing you are able to live a more fulfilling and successful life.

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